A Day in the Life

"A Day in the Life" is a daily history segment about music and the ideas it inspires. This segment is part of Critical Karaoke, a KRCC affiliated radio show run by Prof Ryan Bañagale and Prof Steven Hayward, featuring a wide range of guest contributors.
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A Day in the Life




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"A Day in the Life" is a 2-minute podcast about music, history, culture, and ideas.  We release at least one new episode every weekday on an incredible range of genres and artists.  We hope you enjoy these quick listens!

Apr 1, 2016

It was on this day in 1973 that John Lennon and Yoko Ono held a press conference to announce the formation of the conceptual nation of Nutopia. On today's "A Day in the Life", we let you know how you can become a citizen.

Mar 30, 2016

It was on this day in 1978 that Paul Simonon and Topper Headon, two members of the UK punk group, The Clash, were arrested for shooting pigeons with an air rifle from the roof of the group's rehearsal studio. On today's "A Day in the Life", we explore the incident and the music that may, or may not, have been inspired by the incident.

Mar 22, 2016

It was on this day in 1956 that the musical "Mr. Wonderful" opened on Broadway starring Sammy Davis Jr. On today's "A Day in the Life" we explore the early career of Sammy Davis Jr. 

Mar 16, 2016

It was on this day in 1959 that William Jonathan Drayton Jr., better known as Flavor Flav, was born in Roosevelt, New York. On today's "A Day in the Life", we explore the career of the hip hop hype man.

Mar 8, 2016

It was on this day in 1971 that boxers Muhammad Ali and Joe Frazier met in the ring for the first time at Madison Square Garden.  On today's "A Day in the Life", we explore the music inspired by the rivalry and also uncover a rather stunning interpretation of Sinatra's "My Way" by Frazier himself.

Feb 29, 2016

Today is Leap Day, it's the extra day we add to the end of February every four years to keep the calendar year synced up with the solar year. On today's "A Day in the Life," we leap into an exploration of the rhymes and rhythms associated with these calendar shenanigans. 

Feb 25, 2016

Today in 1967, a tune performed by jazz saxophonist Canonball Adderley hit #11 on the popular music charts. The song, "Mercy, Mercy, Mercy" was written by keyboardist Joe Zawinul who was known for his work with Miles Davis, particularly on the album Bitches Brew. On today's "A Day in the Life," we examine the song's structure and learn about the rumored connection Ray Charles has to the tune.

Feb 19, 2016

Today in 1992, Crazy for You, the Tony award winner for best musical that year opened on Broadway.  It was a surprise hit given what else was playing on the so-called “Great White Way” at the time. On today's "A Day in the Life," hear the tunes and learn which 1930 Ira and George Gershwin musical it was based on.

Feb 18, 2016

It was on this day in 1950 that filmmaker John Hughes was born in Lansing, Michigan. On today's "A Day in the Life," we explore the music of such John Hughes classics as "The Breakfast Club" and "Ferris Bueller's Day off".

Feb 15, 2016

This episode on Critical Karaoke, we’re talking with banjo superstars Béla Fleck and Abigail Washburn on the subject of arrangements—musical, personal, and otherwise.  We cover a range of topics with this married musical couple, from collaboration on their self-titled duet album, to ambassadorship and humanitarian work, to raising a child together.  In addition to their own recordings, we delve into the music of the Flecktones, Béla Bartok, Doc Watson, and many others.  Plus: Special live in-studio recordings of “New South Africa” and “What Are They Doing in Heaven Today?”

Feb 9, 2016

A teaser for our upcoming episode with banjo superstars Bela Fleck and Abigail Washburn.  Coming soon to a radio or podcast near you!

Jan 9, 2016

On this episode of Critical Karaoke we are talking about music that needs to be visually encountered to fully connect with the intended experience of the music itself.  That is, music that you have to see to believe.  Our challenge is to describe these visual aspects and elements--these live moments of performance--in a purely audio realm.  We explore the musical/visual magic of Parliament Funkadelic, Snarky Puppy, and the Theremin to figure out what is really going on behind the sounds...

Dec 22, 2015

In this episode of Critical Karaoke we explore the confluence of Music and Literature with Novelist and Said the Gramophone music blogger Sean Michaels and Novelist Daniel Handler, aka Lemony Snicket. We talk about playlists, nightcaps, Magnetic Fields and, of course, accordions.

Nov 15, 2015

What do you listen to and talk about when you have limitless access to music?  

These days we can fire up our computers, or our portable devices, or our phones and have access to basically any song or composition we want--access to the whole archive of recorded sound.

Joining us this episode for a discussion about the “infinite playlist” is music critic, essayist, novelist, and all around pop-culture guru, Chuck Klosterman.

We journey from Beirut to Ryan Adams, T Swift to Fetty Wap, Billy Joel to Radiohead--and many places in between.  All that and a special "infinite" band name pop quiz on this episode of Critical Karaoke!

Oct 11, 2015

Episode 7--THE SHIFT--features special guest host Katey Sleeveless of the band Eros and the Eschaton! We discuss the line between music and noise, those moments when a new sound entered the landscape and shook things up.  From Bob Dylan at Newport to Grandmaster Flash introducing the cross fader to the madrigals of 17th century, there is something for everyone in this episode of Critical Karaoke.

Aug 8, 2015

Why did Ryan Raul Bañagale once consider "Philosophy" by Ben Folds Five to be the greatest song ever?  He explains all in this "Critical Karaoke" performance outtake from CK Episode 4.  

Aug 1, 2015

Steven Hayward takes on Vince Guaraldi's arrangement of "You Can't Always Get What You Want" by the Rolling Stones.  This segment originally aired on Episode Two, which is available here:

And don't forget to subscribe to our podcast:

Jul 13, 2015

This episode we are talking about summertime.  What is summer all about and how is it represented in music?

Ryan Banagale, Idris Goodwin, and Steve Hayward discuss “Dear Summer” by Jay Z, “Heavy Metal Drummer” by Wilco, and “Summertime” from Gershwin’s Porgy and Bess.

All that and more—including “Band Name Pop Quiz”—on this month’s episode.

Jun 13, 2015

On this episode of Critical Karaoke we are talking about “cover songs.”  Songs that were written and recorded by one artist, but go on to be re-recorded and re-performed by many other artists in many other genres—it is kind of like karaoke of existing songs, but it is critical?  

Complete details available here:

Join us as we discuss covers of "No Diggity" by Blackstreet; "King Porter Stomp," first composed and performed by Jelly Roll Morton; and “The World Turned Upside Down” by Leon Rosselson.  All than and more, including a special "cover band" name pop quiz.  

May 21, 2015

Colorado College professor of music, Michael Grace, delivered the Baccalaureate address at CC's 2015 commencement--and he opened with a Critical Karaoke.  He was unfortunately interrupted in the midst of the action by a fire alarm.

We thought we'd give him a second chance.

Please enjoy this excerpt from his larger address on the subject of enlightenment.  

And subscribe to our podcast so you never miss our "Day in the Life" or "Critical Karaoke" episodes.

May 9, 2015

Critical Karaoke Episode 3: Music and Place

Original broadcast date: May 8, 2015


Digable Planets "Borough Check" from Blowout Comb (1994)

Red Hot Chili Peppers "Under the Bridge" from Blood Sugar Sex Magik (1991)

The National: "England" from High Violet (2010)


Band name pop quiz, untold musical/historical/cultural tangents, a theory lesson on major 7th chords, and a guest visit from multi-instrumentalist and songsmith, Benjamin Lanz.

Apr 12, 2015

Critical Karaoke Episode 2: Sampling a little of this and a little of that...

Discussion, insight, and tangents on music by:


Public Enemy

Einstürzende Neubauten

Cannonball Adderly

Joe Zawinul

Vince Guaraldi

The Rolling Stones

Mar 25, 2015

The debut episode of "Critical Karaoke," hosted by Steve Hayward, Idris Goodwin, and Ryan Raul Bañagale. Original air date: March 13, 2105 on KRCC.

The subject of dance emerges frequently in this episode, which covers a range of musical genres and periods from from Michael Jackson’s posthumous “Love Never Felt So Good,” to mid-90s hip hop with “T.R.O.Y.” by Pete Rock and CL Smooth, to Duke Ellington’s legendary performance at the Newport Jazz Festival to a recent release by The Dismemberment Plan, and some Japanese experimental electronica (Onkyo) by Sachiko M.

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